We all should know by now how important the quality of your sleep is for your overall health. The simple act of sleeping can have a profound impact on how you look, feel and function, along with your longer-term health:
• Deep sleep boosts your immune system, improves your cognition and short-term memory, enhances your moods and balance your hormones.
• When we don't get enough of it, we can feel depressed, forgetful and lethargic. Insufficient sleep can increase your risk of suffering from high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, obesity and diabetes.
• Not getting enough sleep can also increase the rate at which your skin ages because it is less able to recover from free radical damage caused by the sun and environmental toxins. That's because while you are sleeping our body secretes growth hormones that stimulate cellular repair along with the production of collagen and new skin cells.
Like resetting your digestive system with a detox, try these simple rituals to clean up your sleep routine so you can enjoy a deeper restorative sleep and get your body back on track.
Ritual: Pour under warm running water in the bath, or massage just a few drops into wet skin after bathing to seal in moisture. For body massage, pour a small amount into the palm of your hand and apply to skin.
These naturally calming oils will help you unwind, reduce stress and soothe your mood, and set you up for a state of relaxation:
Chamomile: Renowned for its naturally soothing and healing effect on the skin and for helping to relieve stress.
Jasmine Essential Oil: Has a sweet, exotic and richly floral smell. A deeply relaxing and sensual oil renowned for its warming and soothing effects. Produces a feeling of confidence and optimism.
Lavender Essential Oil: Naturally relaxing, soothing, restorative and balancing. Eases tired and aching muscles. A highly versatile oil with rejuvenating and antiseptic qualities.
Shop Ayour Body Toning Serum, MUN Skin, HK$635
Shop Knackered Cow Relaxing Bath & Body Oil, Cowshed, HK$210
Ritual: Have a cup of herbal tea such as chamomile, valerian or another sleepy tea blend, or a glass of warm milk with a touch of nutmeg. Warm milk contains L-tryptophan, an amino acid that's a precursor to serotonin and melatonin, which both induce sleep.
For an extra boost, add half a teaspoon of The Beauty Chef's SLEEP Inner Beauty Powder which contains lemon balm and passionflower. Both are traditionally used in western herbal medicine to promote a good night's sleep, relieve nervousness and restlessness and you will be on your way to sweet dreams. We personally get knocked out from one full dose of SLEEP all on its own, so please adjust the amount you use according to your own body's needs.
Shop SLEEP Inner Beauty Powder, The Beauty Chef, HK$320
Ritual: Stretching out your tired and tight muscles can help soften the body and prepare it for sleep. If you sit for long periods in front of a computer, your neck, shoulders, lower back and hip flexors are all likely to be tight. Studies have shown that gentle yoga or stretching about an hour before bed can result in better quality sleep.
Ritual: Make sure your bedroom is quiet and dark. Dim your lights at least an hour before bed. Light a calming candle or stick of incense, turn down your covers and tidy or declutter your room so it feels like a relaxing place to retreat to.
Rest, restore and repeat.
Going to bed and rising at the same time everyday - even on weekends will help restore your circadian rhythm to a regular pattern. Studies have shown that people who do a daily workout sleep better than those who don't.